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Highly-functional bed sheet wins the Techtextil Innovation Prize 2013

Working together with the Empa and the Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Schoeller Medical develops a special sheet that assists in the prevention of bedsores and takes the Techtextil Innovation Prize 2013 in the category "New Applications".

This year, once again, awards for the latest developments are being given out at Techtextil, the international trade fair for technical textiles and non-woven fabrics. Among the winners is the latest research project, the "fitted decubitus sheet”, from Schoeller Medical, a subsidiary of the Swiss-based textile company Schoeller.

The special fitted sheet was specifically developed to assist in the prevention of the occurrence of bed sores. Decubitus (also known as bed sores) refers to tissue damage caused by constant pressure on the same spot. The resulting sore can reach from the outer layers of the skin to the underlying tissue and as far as the bone. It particularly affects the bed-ridden and elderly patients. The care of decubitus patients is often very time-consuming and involves enormous effort and expense as patients have to be cared for within a complex treatment concept until the sores have safely healed.

In a KTI project in cooperation with the Empa and the Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Schoeller Medical has developed a sheet with a special textile structure that has fewer touch points resulting in a lower contact area with the skin. The microscopically small spaces between the touch points can absorb moisture. Consequently, the mechanical abrasion is reduced and moisture transported away from the skin.

In the Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil, the sheet was tested over an 18 month period. The condition of the respondents and the affected skin areas were regularly inspected by experts. "The positive thing was not sweating at night. As well as that, I was able to turn over without the sheet getting wrinkled or sticking to me," a patient said.

"The aim was to transfer our technical knowledge of textiles, already familiar from function sportswear, and successfully apply it to the medical area," said Hans-Jürgen Hübner, CEO of Schoeller Medical. The medical sheet is currently in production and will be on the market from summer 2013.

It is simple and safe to use and is pulled over the mattress like a conventional fitted sheet. It is suitable for normal domestic and industrial laundering and will initially be available in the size 90 x 200 cm.

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